On the Greyhound From El Paso

The cowboy falls asleep across me,

his blue jeans slung low, red belt buckle

thick over long bones and wrangler’s muscle,

his tooled boot eases onto mine, his sharp shoulder

caves in, the curve of the road drags his head down to my collar,

rolling heavy, so close, oh! the risky odours

of tobacco breath, the rank musk of hair, Sierra Blanca salt…

I want to spiral swiftly down to his lips

spread full like a raptor’s wings soaring over his earth-stung face

his lips are driving me dizzy, before I turn and fall

my eyes control the dive and catch the hands asleep between his thighs

swooping to kiss his copper veins, to lick the hard belly of his palm

half-cupping his crotch; it stretches in his sleep

like a man’s arm reaching out under the sheet

bearing a heavy load, or maybe dreaming about the next ride

bucking hard to the rhythm of the Texas road

I get to hang there for hours til Abilene takes him,

to slip a knot and lock his hands to his bronco

then throw a line to tie his falcon’s wing to mine.


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